Artist Stephanie Douet’s first solo exhibition is going to be organized at Udaipur’s City Palace Gallery. The exhibition ‘Roar Like a Paintbrush’ will start from 14th Feb till 20th Feb, is a set of new paintings based on the Palace’s collection of 19th century photographs of British political agents and residents. The title evokes the idea that art has a place in power and identity politics, and that the tiny whiskers of a miniaturist’s paintbrush can be as mighty as the sword.
In a dimly lit back room of Udaipur City Palace sepia faces gaze at you from the confines of their plain wooden frames. If you were to look carefully into the eyes of these long-dead men, with their bushy whiskers and brass buttons, you might see the tiny form of the photographer – you are standing where he stood, seeing what he looked at. Their straight gaze is in contrast to the painted profile views you see around you in Rajasthan, where men stride off sideways and you stand as though watching them pass.
Stephanie said, ‘Looking at the main collection I was intrigued by the full-scale over-painting of sepia photographs by artists to enhance the true likeness of the images, sometimes resulting in the photographs losing their photographic quality and looking purely like paintings. I noticed that the British officers’ appearances had also been augmented with paint by artists – given pointy moustaches, painted eyelids, finely drawn hair. It gave the officers a slightly Indian appearance. I wondered why they were not coloured in.
‘The paintings are abstracted from their original sources, beginning with sketching and experiments in colour and form, often going through many changes as I find what interests me in each different face. I have so far avoided historical research into who these men are, at this stage only reacting to the surfaces of the photographs. I use a matt Mughul palette of colours to draw out the idea that the British who stayed often became ‘Indianised’, while being aware that some of these men may always have remained resolutely British, she further explained.’
Stephanie Douet studied Art History at the University of East Anglia and took an MA in Fine Art at Norwich University of Arts. She has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford and Leeds University. Other exhibitions include V&A, De La Warr Pavillion, Plymouth Museum, Colyer Bristow Gallery London and Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. She has also curated over 120 exhibitions at the Queen of Hungary Gallery.
For further information contact email@example.com +44 7900330032 www.stephaniedouet.co.uk